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Attachment parenting and summer camp - Page 5

post #81 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
This is exactly how I feel. Nobody is suggesting a wife and a husband separate so they can become independent, so why should a child be separated from parents? That makes no sense to me. If my child wants to go to sleep away camp, she will go. But I think it is SO VERY UNNATURAL that everybody thinks it is OK not to have telephone contact if both the parent and the child want it.
I would expect my husband to all ready be independant. I'm not going to marry someone if they can't take care of themselves.

And as I pointed out (in the other thread I believe), sometimes a husband and wife do need to be seperated from each other with limited contact for various reasons. When DH spent six months working out of town, we didn't contact each other every single day.
post #82 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AislinCarys View Post
A camp I went to at age 12 had the policy of no phone calls in the first three days, as they claimed it would have made the kids more homesick. While I was fine, 2 younger girls, a 7 and an 8-y-o were not. They sat in the dining hall crying, for three days (except when they were made to go to bed, when they still cried). It was awful. After those three days they called home, begged their parents to pick them up and their parents did. As I remember, the parents weren't impressed.
That is the most horrible camp story that I ever heard.
post #83 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by intentionalmama View Post
I really like British Mum's experience of camp:"Camp isn't such a big thing in the UK, but I did go to one camp as a kid. And there were pay phones. And there were no limits whatsoever on using them to call anyone you chose to call. And there were no logistical problems with it either. I just recall us hanging around waiting for a phone to be free in the evenings, chatting and eating candy and larking around as we did so. It was no chaotic big deal, just kids hanging out while they waited turns. And there was more that a hundred kids there. And no cell phones in those days either! Some kids called a lot, some didn't call at all. I think I called once or twice during the week. "

This sounds so natural, healthy, and relaxed to me. It makes me wonder if it would really be such a big deal to have a pay phone kids could use. Perhaps we just think it would be. It sounds like some kids would be too busy to call, some would call maybe once or twice and perhaps some more often. But maybe those ones who did call more often - needed to. I guess I question if a camp really needs to enforce a cut off from parents during that time (in the best interest of the kids).
My daughter isn't a telephone talker. She calls me when I am not at home, "mom where are you? when are you going to be home." I try to ask her stuff and she will say, we'll talk about that when you get home. I know my daughter would call just to say she is fine and happy (or to tell me to send her something she forgot!). And, that's all I want. I don't need to spend alot on the phone with her.
post #84 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eavesdrop View Post
The camp I worked as a counselor at didn't allow phone calls for the 1st three days. The reason the parents were given: the no-phone-calls rule fosters independence and helps the campers bond with the camp.The reason staff was given: kids call home crying and their parents come and get them. camp loses campers. bad for business.
I think this is really what is going on. I want to tell them, look, just let my kid call me every day. You can keep my money if she wants to go home. But although we have a guaranteed spot because we put our deposit, they have a waiting list! So, again, I feel like they are just going to say, "we have had enough of you, your kid can't come here.
post #85 of 151
Thread Starter 
Thank you everybody for all your help. You have given me lots to think about!

Ruth
post #86 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
No, I will be very happy if she is fine at the camp without me. I want her to be able to trust in people. I absolutely love the people that we met when we were there visiting.

I just want to be absolutely sure that she is safe and happy every day. I don't want to find out ten days later that she wasn't.
While I understand wanting her to be safe every day, I think it's pretty unrealistic to expect anyone anywhere to be happy everyday. Life is not like that.
post #87 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
While I understand wanting her to be safe every day, I think it's pretty unrealistic to expect anyone anywhere to be happy everyday. Life is not like that.
You are right. It is unrealistic to expect her to be happy everyday. I guess what I meant was that if she is miserable, I want to know by her telling me over the telephone call, not in a letter that I will get three days letter and not ten days after I drop her off.
post #88 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
I do think that is cruel. Sounds like Why don't we just put our newborns in cribs across the hall from us and let them cry until they fall asleep. That works too.
Heh my oldest dd was teary when she left for camp(not hysterical, just misty). When we picked her up a week later she WAS hysterical, but not because she wanted to come home..because she didn't want to leave camp.

They didn't allow phone calls either & I worried, she's terrified of storms & there were 3..yanno what she told me after? That the kids who were scared sat up with the counsellors & sang songs, did some crafts & she forgot all about the storm.

Ymmv.
post #89 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
You are right. It is unrealistic to expect her to be happy everyday. I guess what I meant was that if she is miserable, I want to know by her telling me over the telephone call, not in a letter that I will get three days letter and not ten days after I drop her off.


Hello Muddah, hello Faddah
Here I am at camp Grenada
Camp is very entertaining
And they say we'll have some fun if it stops raining


I went hiking with Joe Spivey
He developed poison ivy
You remember Leonard Skinner
He got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner

All the counselors hate the waiters
And the lake has alligators
And the head coach wants no sissies
So he reads to us from something called Ulysses

Now I don't want this should scare ya'
But my bunkmate has malaria
You remember Jeffery Hardy
They're about to organize a searching party

Take me home, oh Muddah, Faddah
Take me home, I hate Grenada
Don't leave me out in the forest where
I might get eaten by a bear

Take me home, I promise I will
Not make noise, or mess the house with
Other boys, oh please don't make me stay
I've been here one whole day

Dearest Fadduh, Darling Muddah
How's my precious little bruddah
Let me come home if you miss me
I would even let Aunt Bertha hug and kiss me

Wait a minute, it's stopped hailing
Guys are swimming, guys are sailing
Playing baseball, gee that's bettah
Muddah, Faddah kindly disregard this letter
post #90 of 151
Quote:
I wouldn't be away from my husband that long without talking with him and I certainly wouldn't be away from my child without talking with her and knowing she could call me if she wanted to.

Military families go for months, even over a year, without being able to talk to each other by phone and they survive.

I think the bottom line here is that many camps have this policy and your choice is to either comply with the policy or not send your child to camp.

Whether we agree or disagree with the policy or the reasoning behind it is moot.

OP, it's wonderful that you are going to work through your anxiety about this and let your daughter have this experience that she wants so badly. You'll both be fine, I'm sure.
post #91 of 151
I went to 5 different camps at a child. Two had the "no phone calls" rule. Both of those camps were very structured. Campers were always directly supervised by counselors and there was no free time. Unless there was extra staff we went everywhere together, if one girl got sick we all walked to the infirmary to drop her off with the nurse. In that type of environment it really can be a logistical nightmare to make daily phone calls. Especially when there's only one phone and its a quarter mile or more away.

The other camps only accepted older kids (11+) and so we had free time to wander around and do whatever we pleased. These all had a pay phone and allowed phone calls. The line was usually really long though so the kids who called home missed most of their free time. I did call home a couple times but calling home meant missing out on something else so I usually chose not to.

At most camps making a phone call means missing out on something fun. And often just hearing "I miss you so much" can make a previously happy camper feel sad. It seems illogical, but no phone calls does mean happier campers a lot of the time.
post #92 of 151
Note: I have not read all of the responses.

As a former camper, counselor, Scout leader and parent, I have to say that it's a good policy. IMO.

When I was a kid going to camp, it was nice to have the opportunity to be a bit more grown-up than I felt like I was able to be at home. I allowed me (and my parents) to see that I could take care of myself without them (and I suspect this may be the main "problem" you're having, Ruth), albeit while still well supervised.

As a counselor, the few times when kids DID call their parents (or the parents called camp and insisted on talking to the kid), we ended up having to deal with a very distraught child. It wasn't fun for the child, it wasn't fun for the parent, and it sure wasn't fun for us.

As a Scout leader in the era of cell phones, calls home are a pain in the neck. We had a policy that there were to be no cell phones along, except those that the leaders brought. THOSE phones were for to be used in emergencies only, so it's not like the adults were yakking away while the kids pined for their phones. But... you could bet that there were always a few who brought them along anyway. And then spent the majority of the time at camp texting, calling friends and parents, and pretty much doing anything BUT participating with the group. We got the predictable complaints from child to parent about how mean the leaders were, making them do icky stuff like cook, do dishes, clean the campsite, etc. And the predictable calls from parents about how terrible it was that their precious had to do such "dirty" jobs. It was really quite unfair to the kids (I'm talking both girl and boy scouts) whose parents (a) didn't allow them to bring a cell and (b) didn't want to hear the complaining.

And as a parent... I have always felt that one of the most important things I could do as a parent is to raise well-adjusted and independent young adults. One of the hardest parts of that is letting go at various stages. But it's something that has to be done. I suspect, Ruth, that it's something you're having trouble with - and that's understandable. None of us like seeing our kids grow up and away. But your daughter is telling you that she's ready for this step. Listen to her and let her take it.
post #93 of 151
Thread Starter 
dear everybody,

i am Ruth's daughter Maya. I am really looking forward to camping, but i think my mom has the right 2 worry about me. i also think that it is sad when a mom does not worry or miss their kid. and i will miss her, i will also b homesick, but does that mean i will want 2 come home? no & yes, but if i really want to come home i will find a way. it will probably NOT happen. oh, and i like AP,

Maya G
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post #94 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
Whether we agree or disagree with the policy or the reasoning behind it is moot. OP, it's wonderful that you are going to work through your anxiety about this and let your daughter have this experience that she wants so badly. You'll both be fine, I'm sure.
My daughter and I both disagree with the policy. My questions was not whether people here agree or disagree. My question was whether this felt unnatural. And, to me, not talking to her for 10 days feels so unnatural.

Thank you for your encouraging words. I am sure we will both be fine.
post #95 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
dear everybody,

i also think that it is sad when a mom does not worry or miss their kid.

Maya G
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I think that you can reassure your daughter that most people would miss their child. And maybe explain to her that lack of worry does not mean lack of love.
post #96 of 151
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daphneduck View Post
I think that you can reassure your daughter that most people would miss their child. And maybe explain to her that lack of worry does not mean lack of love.
I think she had in mind those parents who go off to Europe for 4 weeks and drop off their seven-year-old who is not ready for camp and pay extra for the child to be taken care of between the camp sessions. The camp director told us the counselors love when that happens and also absolutely love it to when the parents forget to leave any medication that the children need.
post #97 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
My daughter and I both disagree with the policy. My questions was not whether people here agree or disagree. My question was whether this felt unnatural. And, to me, not talking to her for 10 days feels so unnatural.

Thank you for your encouraging words. I am sure we will both be fine.
(Bolding is mine)

Yes, yes, yes, YES!

It feels unnatural and wrong. Very wrong.

I could never have gone away to camp as a preteen, let alone a child as young as seven.

I don't think I'll allow DD to go to camp and/or be some place where I couldn't maintain voice contact with her until she is at least a teenager.

There's something not right about sleep away camp in general. And I was a camp counselor for many years, so do have some insight.
post #98 of 151
This may not be a popular thought, but here it is. I have found that my attitude about new situations greatly influences how my children feel about them. When my dd went off to summer camp, I owned my own very strong feelings about our seperation and her growing up. I kept the door open for my dd to express her feelings, but I was also very positive about her wish to go away, the strength of our bond, my trust in her judgement as well as my comfort with the camp and staff. I wanted to give her the gift of feeling believed in by me. I think that when we have been very discriminating and very attached with our kids that first step away is a big one. But the meaning of it for the parent is far different than that for the child, IMO.

Op, you asked if this was normal or not? I would say yes, although last year our local paper ran a story about how how camping has changed over the years. It seems these days parents are asking for daily videos of their kids, access by phone or text, essentially on demand contact. So maybe this is the "new normal"? I think it's too bad, myself, and I don't want my kids at a camp like this because that's not really my idea of camp. If the lack of contact is such a big deal maybe day camp would be a better fit for you and your dd?
post #99 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
I think she had in mind those parents who go off to Europe for 4 weeks and drop off their seven-year-old who is not ready for camp and pay extra for the child to be taken care of between the camp sessions. The camp director told us the counselors love when that happens and also absolutely love it to when the parents forget to leave any medication that the children need.
I sincerely hope that the camp director was being sarcastic when she said this!!!! (the part about counselors love when kids don't have medication - I always hated that!)

I also think it would be safe to say (of course not in all situations) that these parents do not practice AP. A parent that drops of their child for several weeks who is older and is ready for that long a stay away from home is different of course.

My parents always missed us when we were gone at camp, and we missed them - but we couldn't wait to tell them all about our crazy fun camp adventures when we got home and would often try and talk over each other to tell them...
post #100 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth View Post
dear everybody,

i am Ruth's daughter Maya. I am really looking forward to camping, but i think my mom has the right 2 worry about me. i also think that it is sad when a mom does not worry or miss their kid. and i will miss her, i will also b homesick, but does that mean i will want 2 come home? no & yes, but if i really want to come home i will find a way. it will probably NOT happen. oh, and i like AP,

Maya G
------,---'--@

All moms have the right to worry about their kids! Thats what moms do, its part of the job description. and I'm sure your mom will miss you - I know I miss my son even when I'm only gone to be in class for a few hours - and I could call home to check on him anytime I wanted!

When i was your age and at camp, I missed my parents, but more in a way that made me excited to tell them all about what I did, and those thoughts were very fleeting at the end of a long fun day while I was falling asleep at night! I really hope you have fun at camp - I loved going to camp!
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